left
nexxia
mml
mmr
right
 
 

Nexxia Shop >Audio Video Cables >HDMI Cables >HDMI Specifications Explained >

HDMI Cable Specifications Explained

HDMI cables are now the standard way to connect your audio video devices, HD TV's and Bluray players, but can be confusing because of all the jargon. This handy guide will help you understand what HDMI is and how the specifications differ. Getting the right cable first time can save you time and money and give you best performance.

What is HDMI?

HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface and allows digital audio and video to be delivered through a single cable. Older cables were based on analogue technology, but as HDMI is digital the quality is better. Having a single cable is also a plus, as it eliminates clutter and reduces the cost of setting up a home cinema or entertainment system. Some HDMI cables also have other features that improve their functionality. HDMI Cables are commonly used for Sky HD, Virgin HD, DVD players, Bluray Players and Games consoles such as Playstation PS3.

Ethernet

Some cables offer Ethernet and Audio Return Channels (ARC). Ethernet cables are commonly used for connecting computers to the internet via a modem or router. Having an Ethernet enabled HDMI cable means that compatible devices can link to each other, and the internet, more easily. If your TV can go online, for example, anything plugged into it with an Ethernet enabled HDMI cable will be able to as well. As you need to plug your set-top box and other devices into the TV anyway, this cuts down on the need for extra cables. Not all devices support the technology; if in doubt, you probably won’t need it, but it can be useful to have for equipment you might buy in the future.

Audio Return Channels

Ordinary HDMI cables send audio as well as video, but only in one direction. Ordinarily, video and audio information would come from a set-top box or DVD player to the TV. However, some TVs and other devices can receive audio information – your TV might have Freeview built in and is able to receive TV or radio itself. If you wanted to send this audio to another device such as an amplifier or HiFi, in the past you would have had to use an S/PDIF lead. With an Audio Return Channel, this information is delivered along the HDMI cable instead, again eliminating the need for extra cables.

Resolutions

Ordinary HDMI cables send audio as well as video, but only in one direction. Ordinarily, video and audio information would come from a set-top box or DVD player to the TV. However, some TVs and other devices can receive audio information – your TV might have Freeview built in and is able to receive TV or radio itself. If you wanted to send this audio to another device such as an amplifier or HiFi, in the past you would have had to use an S/PDIF lead. With an Audio Return Channel, this information is delivered along the HDMI cable instead, again eliminating the need for extra cables.

HDTV is often referred to in terms of its resolution i.e. how many lines make up the picture on the screen. The more lines there are, the better quality the image will be. Regular ‘standard definition’ TV is 480i, while high definition resolutions are 720p, 1080i and 1080p. The number is the number of horizontal lines, so high definition images have more lines. The ‘p’ and ‘i’ stand for progressive and interlacing and refer to the way the image is scanned onto the screen. Basically, progressive scan gives a smoother image.

Although full high definition TV is 1080p, other technologies are emerging that have even more pixels. 4K is one of these. However, there will come a point where having more pixels won’t have any difference – the human eye won’t be able to tell the difference.
HDMI cables are all designed to support HD resolutions, but only high speed ones support 1080p and 4K.

 

HDMI Standard specificationHDMI Standard 

This is the most basic HDMI standard which all cables have to meet. The cable should contain all the connections required for HD transmission, and has to deliver a resolution of at least 720pThese cables do not contain an Ethernet connection or audio return.

 

HDMI High SpeedHDMI High Speed

HDMI High Speed cables transfer audio and video information quicker than standard cables. This means they can support higher resolutions of 1080p and above, with bandwidth of10.2 Gbps and a clock speed of 320 Mhz. If you want to use your cable with a high resolution HDTV, HD set-top box or Blu-ray, you will need a high speed cable. These cables don’t provide an Ethernet conntection, but do have an Audio Return Channel, and support technologies such as Deep Colour, 4K and 3D TV.

.

HDMI Standard with Ethernet

This sort of cable is identical to a standard one, but also contains an HDMI Ethernet channel (HEC). This allows for a 100 Mb/s Ethernet connection between two HDMI connected devices.

 

HDMI High Speed, with Ethernet

As the name implies, these cables offer support for the same high resolutions and technologies as ordinary High Speed cables: 1080p and above. The cables also have HDMI Ethernet and an Audio Return Channel.

What about version 1.3, 1.4a etc?

As technology has advanced, different versions of HDMI have been released. Each subsequent version has supported more features, but in order to be certified as meeting the latest requirements many companies merely resubmit the same cable for testing. In some cases this means that version numbers aren’t always that useful in choosing a cable. To get what you really want, we recommend you focus on what you need the cable to do.

Click here to view our range of audio video cables, or contact us for more information.

 



Basket empty!

Which Trusted Trader


secured

 
right